4. State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition Base Building and Outpost Tips

Facilities Introduction

Every base in this game, from the smallest starter base to the largest mega-complex, has three types of slots you can build on (or are already built on for you). They are:

  • Small Indoor Slots
  • Small Outdoor Slots
  • Large Outdoor Slots

Small slots are common, whereas large slots are uncommon and generally only show up in larger, late-game bases. Often, these slots will already be occupied by a facility, with the occasional option of removing that facility and replacing it with a new one. Before we get into the specifics of bases, built-ins and what to do with each, we need to evaluate the options list of the facilities we can construct ourselves.

Below, we'll rank each facility in our usual system: Great, Neutral or Avoid.

Small Build-able Facilities

These facilities are available at the start of the game and have no special requirements outside of a possible Community Skill requirement (see the Character Development Tips page for more information).

Fighting Gym (Avoid) -- Indoor/Outdoor. Train Fighting, +20 Health. You'll earn fighting experience well enough on your own without this (and then when everyone is levelled up, this benefit becomes useless). The +20 health saves this facility from the trash bin. If you really want some sort of trainer facility, go with the Shooting Range, as Firearms is normally the slowest skill to level.

Garden (Great) -- Outdoor only. Provides 1/2/3 Food a day (or 1/2/3 Meds with a Herbalist). Probably the second facility you will build (after your Infirmary), as you'll need to start producing food, but the Farm requires a large facility slot and Hydroponics requires the Utilities skill plus working water and power. As this facility solves (at least partially) your early food issues, you'll have one of these at your home base well into mid-game.

Generator (Avoid) -- Outdoor only. Provides base-wide power, though causes noise. Needs fuel to function. Marginally useful, its usually better to get a power outpost and use this facility slot for something else (plus with the outpost, you don't have to remember to turn it on all the time). If you REALLY need power early, get a generator facility mod and attach it to the facility that needs power. In subsequent games, with the Builder boon this facility becomes completely useless.

Hydroponics (Great) -- Indoor/Outdoor. 3 Food/Day (or 3 meds with Herbalism). Instant level three garden that you can park indoors or outdoors. So long food/med problems! What's not to love? Its only drawback is its requirement of the Utilities Community Skill, plus both water and power, so you probably won't see get to build this facility until late game at the earliest (assuming this is your first play-through). The Builder Boon makes this much more accessible in subsequent games, moving this up from a short-term "Neutral" option to a long-term "Great" option.

Kitchen (Avoid) -- Indoor/Outdoor. Craft stamina items, produce Food, ration food, and prepare feasts (morale boost) using the Cooking skill. "If only I had more snacks I would be alive today" said no State of Decay 2 player ever. Food and stamina items are everywhere when you scrounge, so the kitchen generally becomes unnecessary in early game, and stamina items can be made at the infirmary in mid-game. As well, if you need to use the ration aspect of this facility, you've done something very, very wrong in your game. The only standout in the Kitchen facility is the morale boost with prepared feasts, though consider this costs food, and you can get free morale boots from the Lounge (a "Great" facility). Much better options exist; don't bother building a Kitchen.

Infirmary (Great, Great GREAT!) -- Indoor/Outdoor. Treat Blood Plague, restore health, craft bandages and plague cure, produce meds (level 3), craft meds and painkillers. This should absolutely be the first thing you build in higher level games, and one of your first goals as a community should be to upgrade this to level 2. At level 1 you can cure people of blood plague build up (absolutely needed at higher levels) and level 2 you can cure people of injuries (also absolutely needed at higher levels). You can only hit level 3 with the Medicine Community skill, but that just allows you to craft med kits, which are great but expensive to craft. Given this, you should always have at least a level 2 Infirmary in every base you build, with the exception of Sheriff Leader Communities, which can and should replace this with the Field Hospital.

Latrine (Avoid) -- Boosts Morale. Outdoor only. It's pretty crappy (HA! See what I did there?). +10 morale is pretty meh, and this facility is way outclassed by the Lounge (which gives you beds to boot). Plus, you'll need a Plumber to get full use out of it, which you generally won't have in the early stages of the game when this facility is most useful. At the very least, it beats the Kitchen in that you don't have to pay food for the morale boost (well, at least not directly... *wink*), so only build a Latrine if you're very, VERY desperate for morale, and even then, look into getting the Lounge and some facility mods instead (like the console).

Outdoor Beds (Avoid) -- Outdoor only. Provides two beds and a morale penalty. Outdoor beds are Sheltered Beds but worse. Since Sheltered Beds are the only "indoor only" facility, you should never build this unless you have a base with absolutely zero/one indoor slot, and even then, the Lounge or the Officer's Quarters is a better option to shore up bed counts outdoors. Honestly, if you're contemplating building this, you should probably be contemplating moving to a new, larger home base instead.

Rain Collector (Avoid) -- Outdoor only. Provides base-wide water. Outclassed by the water outpost (use this facility slot for something better). If you're desperate for water, try the water cooler facility mod until you can get a water outpost up. Or build a still, which has much more utility along with providing water. Builder Boon makes this facility moot. Did you just read about four different reason not to build this facility? Hint: yes. Avoid.

Sheltered Beds (Neutral) -- Indoor only. Outdoor beds but better (i.e. no morale penalty). Probably the third or fourth facility you will build this game. When upgraded, can provide four beds, which is a pretty good number. A better choice than the barracks (which has more beds buy eats up a precious Large slot). The Red Talon Bunkrooms are better if you can afford the small morale hit (and you have to have played a LOT of Daybreak, see Red Talon Facilities below). For large communities, you'll probably have to decide between this, the Red Talon Bunkroom and/or the Barracks even with the Lounge and/or Officer's Quarters up and running. Neutral in that this facility has alternatives (unlike, say the infirmary), though a solid medium choice.

Still (Neutral) -- Outdoor only. Craft Fuel and provides base-wide water. Needs the Chemistry Community Skill to build. Essentially, its a Rain Collector but better in that it allows you to convert food to fuel (and if you're running a couple of farms, this solves all your fuel and gasoline issues). If you have a Trader leader, you can also produce luxury alcohols, which you can sell to enclaves for huge influence. Marked as neutral since you need to dedicate a lot of resources (aka a farm or two and a Trader leader) to get the most out of the Still.

Shooting Range (Neutral) -- Indoor/Outdoor. Trains Shooting and provides +20 Stamina (also increases rate of Shooting improvement). The better of the two trainer facilities, as shooting is usually the slowest skill to level, especially in early game. The +20 stamina is a nice bonus as well. Only put this in if you have extra small slots and not much to do with them, and feel free to take it out once everyone is trained up.

Watchtower (Neutral) -- Enables Armed Base Guards and reduces zombie attack threat. I waffled on the rating for this one quite a bit, as its usefulness is directly tied to map difficulty (the more difficult, the more useful). It does use up two ammo a day, which is bad for the little benefit you get on lower difficulties -- in exchange for your daily bullet, you get a little bit of reduced base threat (meh). It only allows two base guards on it, and has no other functionality attached to it (unlike the Builder's Sniper Tower Project). It does however allow for semi-effective base defences assuming you have armed citizens, so if you're playing very high difficulty games, and are worried about base sieges, this is an option for you. Outclassed in every way by the Red Talon Watchtower, which allows for three defenders and triples the zombie attack threat reduction, though you'll need to play a lot of Daybreak to obtain the Red Talon Watchtower (see Daybreak facilities below). If your leader is a Builder, get the Sniper Tower instead - it uses a large slot but it comes with the very awesome Sniper Cover radio ability. All in all, I generally avoid this facility on lower difficulties, but it may work for you if you're in need of armed guards firing over the walls and protecting your base from late game sieges on harder difficulties. Hence the Neutral rating.

Workshop (Great) -- Indoor/Outdoor. Craft Explosives, fix Weapons, salvage weapons for parts, produce ammo for our resource stockpile and make our own crossbow bolts. Most likely the third or fourth facility you'll build, the workshop has all sorts of useful function to it, like salvaging and repairing weapons. You can also make ammo and explosives here, which you'll definitely need in high difficulties and late game plague heart assaults. The only reason NOT to build one is if you have access to the Red Talon Workshop (for which you'll need to play a lot of Daybreak, see Daybreak section below), in which case the Red Talon Workshop outclasses the regular workshop in every way, or if you have a Warlord Leader, in which case the Armory will duplicate just about every feature the workshop has.

Large Build-able Facilities

These facilities are available at the start of the game and have no special requirements outside of a possible Community Skill requirement (see the Character Development Tips page for more information).

Auto Shop (Avoid) -- Required an Automechanic Community Skill to build. Here you can craft vehicle upgrade kits and craft toolkits and advanced toolkits at a discounted price. As well, the Auto Shop passively improves car fuel efficiency, and can spend parts to temporarily boost vehicle durability, and/or to reduce vehicle noise. Given all this, the vehicle upgrades kits are pretty good, but again, you'll need an Automechanic to make them. Once you do, everything else offered by the Auto Shop is very, very "meh" (the cheap toolkits are nice, but you can make them at the Workshop for a slightly higher cost). If you really want vehicle upgrades (and they really aren't necessary), build this shop, make as many as you think you'll need, then tear this down and replace it with a Farm, Lounge or Staging Area. There is no reason to keep this facility around for any length of time.

Barracks (Neutral) -- Supplies four beds, upgradable to six. Upgradable again if you have a Warlord or Builder leader (granting 5 beds and positive morale bonus, or seven beds and negative morale hit). A solution to bed problems at the cost of a precious outdoor slot, Barracks offer a brute-force bed count solution - it does do its job well, so I can't hate on the Barracks too much. I'd just rather use the large facility slot for something else.

Farm (Great) -- Provides 2/3 food a day (or 4 with the Agriculture Community Skill), or 2/3/4 Medicine a day (with the Herbalism Community Skill). Needs water for the higher levels of growth, but seeing as you'll build this mid-game, you probably have water options either from a water outpost, a water cooler facility mod, a Still facility or the Builder Boon. Solve your Food or Med issues in one facility type! For advanced players, combine the Agriculture skill with the Still/Trader Boon and start producing high-level alcohol to exchanges for tons of influence. Or switch to Herbalism and Pharmacology and start producing high influence valued bulk plague cures. Either way, you're solving at least one resource production issue while earning yourself huge influence bonuses to boot. Because of this, I'm usually running at least one or two Farms in my late-stage home bases.

Forge (Neutral) -- Craft melee weapons or craft masterwork melee weapons with the Metalworking skill. Convert materials to parts with the Metalworking skill, or convert parts to materials with the Construction skill. Of all the large facilities, this is my fifth choice of items to build, which is to say I almost never build it (you find good-enough weapons laying around when you scavenge, or just barter with the Bounty Broker). If you build this, you almost have to have the Metalworking Community Skill to get the best out of the facility. Nice to have, but it's a facility that's not necessary to own in any way.

Lounge (Great) -- Provides one bed, and many passive and active morale boosts. Decent at level 1 with a possible +8 passive morale and a few options to push that number higher, but the Lounge really shines at level 2 where it provides two beds and a huge mix of morale boosters, along with up to +11 passive morale. If you happen to have a Sheriff as a Leader, push the Lounge to level 3 for three beds, even more morale boosters, up to +20 (!!!) passive morale, and the ability to train every skill with one facility option (again, !!!). An absolute must if you have a Sheriff leader, but still excellent at level 2. A staple of my base builds.

Solar Array (Avoid) -- Needs the community skill Electricity to build. Provides free, silent base-wide power. Also gives the kitchen a bonus via hot water. Because of the Electricity community skill requirement and the large slot requirement, you won't be building this facility until mid to late game, at which time you should have a power station outpost already up and running (though the outpost does cost you one fuel per day). Made moot by the Builder Boon, and honestly, there are better uses for a large slot anyway. Avoid.

Staging Area (Great) -- Speed up build times, also reduces facility maintenance costs to zero. Ok, this is what I like to call reverse bait-and-switch. Why? The main advertisement of this facility is that it speeds up build times. Total garbage, not even worth considering. But then, they casually throw in "Also reduces facility maintenance costs to zero." Wait... what did I just read? That's right, build this, and your base material costs go to zero. Zero! No matter how big your base is! WHY NOT ADVERTISE THIS FIRST!?!? While not a requirement, the Staging Area is an absolute gem in large, late-stage bases that are materials maintenance hogs. NOTE: by "maintenance costs" the game means materials resources used by facilities (which by late game with upgraded facilities can get quite high). Just materials. Not ammo, fuel, etc. Still, an awesome facility to have. I was well into my State of Decay career when I realized how great this facility can be - learn from my mistakes.

Leader Projects

Leader Project facilities have the requirement in that they can only be built by communities with a specific leader type. Therein, you can only have one of these four facilities up and running during each play-through, and then only after a leader is elected, which may be mid-game or late-game depending on individual circumstances. Each of these facilities requires a large facility slot to build.

Armory (Neutral) -- Requires Warlord Leader. Crafts ammunition and military explosives, and gun attachments (read, silencers) with the Engineering skill. Basically, this will replace your Workshop and most Workshop-related ammo facility mods. A great facility if you use lots of guns and ammunition, especially rare calibre ammunition (.50 calibre, I'm looking at you); less great if you don't. Rated Neutral because a Workshop covers most of this functionality just fine (even if the Armory is the superior building), so if choosing a Leader strictly based on Leader Projects, its best to look elsewhere.

Field Hospital (Neutral) -- Requires Sheriff Leader. Heal all injuries and sickness; enables passive recovery of health and removal of trauma, injuries, and infections; treats blood plague and allows for crafting plague cure and other medical items, and can produce meds. Also gives a passive health bonus. A long list, but does this sound familiar? That's right, the Field Hospital does everything a Level 3 Infirmary does, but with a few extra options and a few other passive bonuses. So when you can, replace your infirmary with the Field Hospital. Rated Neutral because a Infirmary covers most of this functionality just fine (even if the Field Hospital is the superior building), so if choosing a Leader strictly based on Leader Projects, it's best to look elsewhere.

Sniper Tower (Great) -- Requires Builder Leader. Provides a Watchtower-like building with two guard positions, as well as unlocking the Radio: Sniper Cover ability. See the trend from above of "It's this building, but moderately better"? The trend continues with the Sniper Tower, which is just a Watchtower with a bit more zombie threat reduction. Then why is it marked as Great? Because of the one other thing it does - it unlocks the Sniper Cover ability on your radio. And Holy Moley is this radio ability beyond awesome! Stuck out in the field with no ammo and surrounded by zombies, ferals and screamers? Call for Sniper Cover on your radio! Activating this gives you 90 seconds of sniper fire around you every 3-4 seconds (15-18 shots total), which is basically a one-hit shot on almost all zombies (including ferals, screamers, and armoured zombies). Just stand on a car or building roof, make the call, and watch all your problems quickly get deleted one by one! Works on Juggernauts as well (5-6 hits and they're off the board)! Attacking a plague heart? Fire this radio command off and give yourself some breathing space! Defending an enclave? Simplistic now as zombies will barely get a chance to touch anybody! Defending your home from an invasion? Activate this and see the horde melt away! I absolutely cannot emphasize enough how awesome this ability is when you find yourself in a jam. The lone negative of Sniper Support is a 10 minute cooldown, but the good news is combined with a CLEO Support Transmitter Facility Mod (see Facility Mods section below for more details), you can have 2 sniper supports ready to go, so in theory, you'll have one up every time you need it. Utterly broken! Get this!

Trade Depot (Great) -- Requires Trader Leader. Summons traders and grants free influence. Finally! A leader project that's more than "This building, but better", the Trade Depot allows you to summon a trader of any kind you like, directly to your base. This includes: ammo traders, food traders, fuel trader, materials traders, med traders, and parts trader (sadly, no mysterious wandering traders). No need to even leave home to access this benefit! Furthermore, a +200 influence a day bonus is nothing to sneeze at either. Not a requirement by any means, but access to these traders solves all of your supply and parts/scrap needs, in so long as you have some spare influence to spend. Grab this, and your days of scarcity are over.

Daybreak Facilities

These facilities can only be built after unlocking them in Daybreak (see Daybreak section of this guide for details on unlocking these facilities). If you have the facility unlocked in Daybreak, simply call the daybreak trader via the radio, visit the Daybreak trader, and buy the proper facility prefab kit from them. Put the kit in your base inventory and now you can build the indicated facility (all of which are listed below). The drawback to these facilities is you have to play a LOT of Daybreak to both unlock the facility (as most are quite high up on the loot table) and to accrue the Daybreak points (aka Prestige) to buy the Facility Prefab items. Daybreak is fun at first but gets old quickly, so be prepared for a slog if you want these facilities in your home base (and you eventually will, as building all four is tied to an achievement). See the Daybreak section of this guide for more details.

Some of these facilities are superior versions of existing facilities (to which you'll most likely prefer the Daybreak facility to the regular, vanilla facility) while others are hybrids of other facilities. None of these facilities need upgrading - they start out at their "highest level" automatically. All of them will use small facility slots, except for the CLEO Relay, which uses a large slot.

Officer Quarters (Neutral, almost Great) -- Indoor Only. Two Beds, passive and active morale boosters, and activated efficiency gains. If the Latrine and the Lounge had a baby, it would be the Officer's Quarters. It gets the +10 passive morale boost and the 2 beds like a Lounge 2, but replaces the morale active boosters with the active boosters of the latrine (and like the Latrine, Plumbing community skill required). You can also use the facility to temporarily add +2 labour to your labour pool, increase facility efficiency by 33% and temporarily upgrade survivor experience rates by 33%. All for a small slot! On the very cusp of greatness, but I like the Lounge active morale boosters better than the latrine options, though the extra labour and base efficiency make this a tempting choice. Then again, why choose? Grab this and the Lounge to create the happiest survivor community in all of State of Decay 2!

Red Talon Bunkroom (Great) -- Indoor Only. Five Beds, Morale Penalty. Basically the Red Talon replacement for the Sheltered Beds. With 5 beds, you get one extra bed at the cost of -5 morale. Generally worth it unless you're really hurting for morale.

Red Talon Watchtower (Neutral) -- Outdoor Only. Essentially a Watchtower, but with 3 Armed Guards instead of 2, and -6 Threat instead of -2 threat. See the Watchtower section above for a discussion on Watchtowers in general, but if you do decide to get a Watchtower (and the Sniper Tower is unavailable to you due to not having a Builder Leader), get this instead, as it is superior in every way to the basic Watchtower. Rated "Neutral" for the same reasons as the Watchtower - not great in lower difficulty games, but its usefulness increases as your difficulty goes up.

Red Talon Workshop (Great Great GREAT!) -- Indoor/Outdoor, Self-powered Workshop 3 with free passive equipment repairs. Basically, it's a Workshop in a box that comes out already at level 3 (no Community Skills required). And the power requirements of some of the Workshop abilities? Gone! Further, and even better, it passively fixes ALL of your equipment that's in your base inventory without cost! (!!!) With the Workshop being one of your critical facilities, this is a much, much better version of this. Yes, you want it. Very much so. Replace your Workshop with this if you can.

CLEO Relay (Avoid) -- Uses a large facility slot. Summons CLEO drops. Build this, and you can activate this facility via Daybreak credits to get a CLEO drop on your map filled with random Daybreak CLEO equipment (always including, importantly, CLEO ammunition). The drawback? Upon activation, the CLEO Relay instantly causes a severe zombie attack to occur at your base. Usually not a big deal, but annoying nonetheless. Due to the random nature of the drops, this isn't all that useful (you can get what you want directly from the Daybreak trader instead) UNLESS you use CLEO guns all the time, in which case this is a cheaper way to get the speciality CLEO ammo. CLEO weapons (both melee and firearms) are extremely heavy, so I don't generally use them outside of the CLEO Heavy Sniper, which I put on survivors who stay in base constantly (aka with skills I want to protect) and for whom I have a watchtower set up. As non-player controlled characters, they don't use up ammo when shooting from the Watchtower, so I generally do not need lots of CLEO ammo. As the CLEO Relay takes up a large slot, pass on this and put something better in that slot in its stead.

Default Facilities

In addition to the above, each base will come with three default facilities. I will not rank them as they will always be available to you at every base (so ranking would be pointless):

Command Centre -- Locate resources, survivors, or plague hearts; spend labour to earn influence; research new territories; broadcast messages for influence; allow for radio calls for spy drones and or assault drones (community skill dependent). Lots of nice-to-haves here, but nothing critical (unless you want to move to a new map). Since its free at every base, feel free to use it extensively (especially the broadcasting for influence functionality, as it's easy to forget its existence).

Parking Spot -- Gives you spaces to park your cars, and lets you place items from your car trunk directly into your inventory. The more Parking Spots the better obviously, as you can use excess car trunk storage to store supply rucksacks that would push your max resource count over the edge (and thus cause resource spoilage).

Storage -- Where you store all your material you've been gathering or growing/producing all game. Has a max capacity to it for each resource type (and the caps can be different for each resource depending on what base you're in), so if you go over, you'll start to run into resource spoilage, so keep your eye on those max numbers. Use car trunks to store excess resource rucksacks until you have room in your storage. Outside of this, you can use the Storage to pull rucksacks from your supply (in case you want to trade them or give them to a requesting enclave), convert fuel resources into gas cans, convert ammo resources into actual ammunition, and/or scrap materials for parts.

Facility Mods

Along with the primary uses of the facilities listed above, many facilities allow for one extra modification (mods) to be added onto the facility. Mods are items that add a bonus to either the facility itself or the community as a whole. Some mods can only be attached to a specific facility (i.e. Set of Free Weights can only be attached to a Fighting Gym), and some can be attached to any facility with an available slot (i.e. Airtight Containers). Some give a bonus to only its attached facility (i.e. Water Cooler provides water only to the facility to which it's attached), while others give a general community bonus (i.e. Comfy Chair gives a +3 morale boost to the community).

As they are uncommon to find, are randomized on campaign maps, and all generally provide a bonus (i.e. there are no "bad" facility mods), I won't be providing a complete list of them here. Instead, I'll make a few short notes for you below for mods to keep an eye out for and how excessively powerful they are:

CLEO Support Transmitter -- This is the 24th item on the loot table in the Daybreak campaign (see Daybreak section for details). If you have spare Daybreak currency, you should VERY strongly consider buying this mod (it will always be available from the Daybreak Trader - use your radio to call the trader and get them to appear on your map for 30 mins). Attaching and using the CLEO Support Transmitter is not tied to any achievement, so you may need to save up your currency for more expensive items with achievements attached to them (i.e., the CLEO Relay). Additionally, this mod uses Daybreak currency to activate, so consider that when saving up for other Daybreak equipment tied to achievements. Given that, buy this right now! You can attach this mod to any facility you own, and once you do, it unlocks the Radio: Red Talon Sniper Support ability. Take a second and scroll up an read the section on the "Sniper Tower" facility on how awesome this ability is - want to delete Juggernauts, Ferals, Zombie Hordes, etc with zero effort? Call the Sniper Support on the radio and watch as everything around you slowly gets deleted. Except with the Red Talon Sniper Support the process is accelerated, so you get to watch everything QUICKLY get deleted! Trouble with zombie base attacks? Activate this, problem solved! Stuck halfway across the map with two ferals and a Juggernaut on your tail? Activate this, specials DELETED! And the best part about this mod? You don't have to have a Builder Leader to build this, nor do you have to waste a facility slot! It is, bar none, THE BEST facility mod in the game, in my humble opinion (Network Signal Antenna aside). And it's always available to you on every map, given you have Daybreak points to spend.

Signal Booster/Network Signal Antenna -- Rare to find, but if you see Network Signal Antenna, get it! It is only attached to your Command Centre, but when it's attached, it will unlock +2 outpost slots. This benefit is LEAGUES better than most of what other mods offer, so never pass up an opportunity to buy a Network Signal Antenna. If you can't find one, you can craft the Signal Booster at your Workshop to unlock +1 outposts, which, while not as good as the Network Signal Antenna, is still better than most mods out there. Note: If you happen to find multiple Network Signal Antennas out there, put them on survivors right before finishing the Leader Legacy Missions and you'll have this mod available right away in subsequent games using this survivor. If not for the CLEO Support Transmitter, these two items would be far and away the best facility mods out there.

Advanced Biochem Station -- Infirmary/Field Hospital only. Allows you to craft Zombait, ScentBlock, and Bloater Cloud Grenades, which is the 1-2-3 punch to eliminate hostile survivors and hostile communities. Apply the Scentblock to yourself, then start your hostile community assault by tossing some Zombait into the community. The community will get flooded with zombies and be distracted with taking them out. Then, toss in a Bloater Cloud Grenade -- the gas does SEVERE damage to hostile survivors, but does not kill, stop, or disrupt the zombies at all. The combo of the gas and the zombie pile-up will make short work of hostile communities, and you don't even need to stick your neck out! These items are a lifesaver in Nightmare and Lethal difficulties, where a well-placed shot from a hostile survivor can instantly end one of your own survivors. Get this if you see it!

White Noise Machine -- The best device you can find to improve base morale, with a +10 morale bonus per survivor when attached to facility that adds to the base bed count. While other facility mods may offer morale bonuses (i.e. the Original Xbox Console facility mod), the White Noise Machine is far and away the best one out there for raising morale. If you see it, get it.


Now that we know all about our own base facilities and what to build, it's time to look at outposts. As of the time of this writing, Undead Labs just released a Title Update which improved outposts, making them even better (as you can upgrade resource outposts to level 2 and level 3 now, unlocking 3 of each resource!). Another benefit of that Title Update is that each map will now have one landmark outpost, where occupying the Landmark gives you a major community or facility boost you'd normally get in a rare facility mod. They're definitely worth occupying!

Below are the types of outposts you can get occupied, along with my usual rating of each type (Great, Neutral, Avoid), based on the changes included in this Title Update.

Simple Outposts (Avoid) -- Provides no bonuses. BOOOOO!

Espresso Stand Outposts (Avoid) -- Provides +3 morale, can make coffee, and can teach cooking. +3 isn't much, so unless your DESPERATE for morale in the early game, avoid this one.

Resource Outposts (Great) -- The only type of outpost that can be upgraded, and provides +1/+2/+3 of each resource type per day. Use these to plug your medicine, food and fuel shortages early in the game, and ammo and materials later in the game. Cheap to pick up, their only real weakness is the heavy cost of the second and especially third upgrade stage (2000 influence for level 3!). This outpost type will constitute the bulk of your occupied outposts (unless you need Water and Power, see below), especially now that they've been improved by the Title Update. Just remember to make sure you want to keep the outpost long-term before upgrading to stage 2 (800 influence) and especially stage 3 (the aforementioned 2000 influence).

Safehouse Outposts (Neutral) -- +2 beds. An ok choice early if you need to shore up your bed situation (and thus improve your morale). With the Title Update, however, it's now much more economical to run a resource outpost level 3 and just build a bunkhouse on your base, rather than relying on Safehouse Outposts long term. Still, not a bad choice in a pinch, as you can drop this outpost when you're ready to move on to better outpost configurations.

Radio Outposts (Neutral) -- -20% radio cool-downs and can teach Computers. In late stage games, you might find yourself awash in resources, in which case you may have more outposts slots than pressing material needs. In this case, consider a radio outpost, as it reduced the time on radio call cool-downs. If you use Sniper Cover/Red Talon Sniper radio commands a lot (and you should), this is an excellent option. If not, not so much. Ignore this early but feel free to pick up late stage if you have the space for it.

Artillery Outposts (Avoid) -- Opens the Radio Call for artillery strikes (aka the poor man's sniper cover). Sniper Cover/Red Talon Snipers are much better at clearing hordes than artillery shots, and you can get this ability anyway with a Workshop Level 3 and a programmer. While the Artillery Outpost isn't terrible, there are better options out there.

Water Outpost (Great) -- Provides water to all your facilities and a +1 morale bonus to every community member, at the cost of one fuel per day. Also teaches/improves Utilities. Great if you plan to run a lot of gardens/farms/hydroponics. Definitely worth picking up, even if it's a bit pricey at 1000 influence.

Power Outpost (Great) -- Provides power to all your facilities and a huge +5 morale bonus to every community member at the cost of two fuel per day. Also teaches/improves Utilities. Great for late-stage bases when you want to start crafting high-end equipment, and the +5 morale bonus is just the cherry on top. It will set you back 2000 influence however, so save your (influence) pennies.

Landmark Outpost (Neutral-Great) -- There's one per map, and unfortunately they tend to be in out of the way places where you won't get the benefit of location. Having said that, picking one up will give you a choice of one of three boon packages (and you can switch between these boon packages for a small influence fee, so don't feel locked in). These boons are usually late game or high-level items (i.e. the ability to craft bloater gas bombs, Zombait and scent-block; sniper and radio recon unlocks, etc). Each Landmark is different, but I guarantee there will be something you'll like among the Landmark boons. Worth picking up mid-to late game.

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